Doctors, Diapers and Drool: 10 Reasons New Dads Experience ED

According to the Cleveland Clinic, 52 percent of men suffer from erectile dysfunction (ED). Older men from 40 and up are likely to suffer from it, particularly those with heart disease, diabetes and those who are taking certain medications.

Erectile dysfunction is a common disorder in older men and those with cardiovascular problems, but it can occur during or after a specific event, such as working long hours or drinking too much alcohol. Situational erectile dysfunction can happen to healthy young men, especially those experiencing major changes in life, such as becoming a father.

The news of a baby is almost always great news. Let us discover why becoming a new dad can cause something as undesirable as erectile dysfunction. Here are 10 reasons why new dads experience ED:

1. You Think Dads Only Play a Supporting Role During Pregnancy.

partner is positively pregnantAfter the initial happiness and excitement, and after the doctor tells you that your partner is positively pregnant, you may start to feel fear crawling up inside your mind as you realize everything will not be the same when your baby comes.

Even early in the pregnancy, many dads-to-be feel they are being left out for a lot of reasons. First, all the concerns of the people around you go straight to your partner. Whenever you are at a family gathering, everyone else seems to act like you do not exist, while your partner accommodates their questions endlessly: “Have you been having morning sickness?”  “Who is your OB?” “What vitamins are you taking?” and so on.

Next, expecting dads like you do not get to experience pregnancy first hand. No morning sickness, no urinating every 10 minutes and no experience of the baby’s first movements in the tummy. The lack of physical connection with your unborn baby can sometimes make you feel excluded.

Finally, when the baby arrives, you know his or her needs come first. Assisting your partner in taking care of the baby and doing chores is also necessary. But, you may wonder, “what about me?”

Feeling left out during the process of pregnancy and giving birth is nothing to frown about. With a lot of changes going on, it’s normal for new dads and even experienced dads to feel isolated unintentionally.

What you need to do is to communicate with your partner about your feelings. Do not think that you are burdening her with your anxieties. The more you shut out yourself from your partner, the more you are creating a gap that can lead to future problems.

2. You Worry About Your Decreasing Savings.

Pregnancy, giving birth and taking care of a child will surely drain your finances. Of course, your partner will take a leave from work, and you may need to take time off to help her take care of the baby until she has fully recovered. No work means no pay, and that is not good news. On the other hand, you may decide to take extra hours or overtime to make up for the expenses.

Sex will have to wait, too, since lovemaking right after giving birth is not possible, because penetration is physically painful for new moms. But, that may not matter, because all those financial worries can linger, and being overworked can cause you much stress, leading to a loss of interest in sexual activities in the future.

You and your partner should openly talk about financial matters, so you can both adjust expenses based on your financial capabilities. Do not rush to sign up yourself for overtime at work. Your partner needs your assistance now more than ever, and working extra hours may make her feel neglected and resentful. If you have decided to take a leave, inform your boss as early as possible to avoid any conflicts.

3. Your Priorities Change Against Your Will.

get marriedEverything in your life changes when you get married, and after married life comes parenthood. No more night outs whenever you want. No more cuddling in bed and only getting up for brunch during weekends. Suddenly, life is not just about you two anymore.

When the baby arrives, too often, a couple’s intimate relationship suffers. Sex often becomes an option and not a priority. Lack of time, coupled with drained energy can make it hard for you and your wife to be sexually stimulated and the less sex you have, the less sex you will want.

No matter how difficult it is for you to adjust to these changes, you have to accept and deal with the fact that you are now a dad. Your child needs a nurturing and loving father, and your wife needs you as a husband and partner, too.

To avoid unfulfilled needs and resentments, talk to your partner on how you can both adjust your time on being parents, career persons and partners. Being a father is a wonderful experience as long as you approach it with a positive attitude.

4. You Would Rather Sleep Than Have Sex.

You cannot expect your partner to do all the caring for your baby. She needs rest, not just for herself, but also to be able to perform her motherly duties well. And, who else will take over her while she takes a nap or go out to unwind? Of course, it is you.

You and your partner need to divide household chores and take turns taking care of the baby. Sleepless nights, especially when the baby is not feeling well, constant feeding and changing of diapers, and the list goes on of the things you have to do, which is exhausting, both physically and mentally.

Lack of sleep can hurt your sex life due to these three things:

  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Low Testosterone Levels

The moment you step in the door from work, expect a pile of daddy duties waiting for you to do. And when you finish everything, you probably would rather fall into a deep slumber than have sex. After all, waking up with only a few hours of sleep is like waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

5. You Gain Weight Due to Unhealthy Lifestyle Changes.

gaining weight during pregnancyHave you heard of the “dad bod” craze? Beer bellies out and biceps out of sight, this is what a “dad bod” is, and surprisingly a lot of women actually find it attractive. But is it, really?

Moms normally go through physical changes, especially gaining weight during pregnancy, and it is never an easy and quick process to go back to their pre-pregnancy bodies. The dads, however, seem to be gaining weight, too.

How and why? You might ask. For one, babies take most of new parent’s time. With work and everything in between, it can be difficult to prepare healthy foods, too. Pizzas, fried food and take out will be your go-to meals for a time. Unfortunately, convenience means eating foods loaded with fat and carbs.

Second, unwinding on weekends will be over a bottle of beer or two with your other daddy friends. Now you can finally relate to their diaper woes, lack of sleep and drool smell.

Lastly, you might not have the time to work out. A trip to the gym three times a week might be impossible to squeeze into your jam-packed schedule. Fats and carbs, plus alcohol and inactivity all equate to weight gain, which can lead to obesity and other weight-related health conditions that can affect your sexual health.

Did you know obese men are twice as likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction as men of a normal weight? Obesity makes you highly at risk for cardiovascular diseases that can reduce blood flow to your organs, including your penis. Obese men also tend to have lower testosterone levels. Testosterone is a hormone necessary for the production of nitric oxide, which helps dilate blood vessels for blood flow all over the body and to the penis.

Obesity has psychological effects on men, too. Due to low testosterone levels, you may experience depression and low confidence, especially in bed.

6. Your Hormone Levels Become Unstable Due to Stress.

Stress is your body’s way of responding to certain events every day, and being a new dad is a major life event. Although parenthood is a positive change for you, it can cause stress. Lack of sleep, tiredness, money issues and emotional distress can all contribute to stress levels.

According to a study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, stress triggers the release of cortisol, the hormone that inhibits the production of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). From the hypothalamus, GnRH travels to the pituitary to promote secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). FSH is necessary for sperm development, while LH is indirectly responsible for the production of testosterone necessary for a man’s reproductive function and libido.

Stress also triggers the release of gonadotropin-inhibitory hormone or GnIH, which can also inhibit the production of GnRH.

7. Life Changes Can Make You Feel Stressed and Unhappy.

a baby is your bundle of joyA baby is a blessing. This is what you constantly hear from other people. Indeed, a baby is your bundle of joy, but not every parent is happy about becoming one.

Is it even possible for parents to feel negative about having a child? According to a study in Germany, having a child can have a destructive effect on a person’s happiness. Although the main goal of the study was not to determine the impact of having a child on a parent, it helped determine what many parents think about childrearing.

The research study included 2,016 Germans who were childless at the start of the study. They were monitored by researchers until at least two years after they had their firstborn child. The participants were asked to rate their happiness from 0 to 10, with 0 being completely dissatisfied and 10 as completely satisfied. They had to answer this question: How satisfied are you with your life, all things considered?

Factors to be considered are divorce, unemployment, the death of the partner, and the birth of the first child. Surprisingly, 70 percent of the respondents said their satisfaction decreased, along with their happiness, which was higher than what many felt about being divorced, unemployed or losing their partners. The remaining 30 percent said they were happy or felt happier after having their baby.

Researchers also found out that these unhappy parents were anxious and excited during pregnancy, but things changed on and after the first year the baby was born. Those who reported severe dissatisfaction and unhappiness were the ones who experienced depression, isolation from previous social circles, sleep deprivation and relationship problems.

8. The Baby Came at the Least Expected Time.

Parenthood is a huge responsibility that many men and women are not ready to take on. But, a baby can come whether you are ready or not.

An unintended addition to your family can bring a lot of stress, especially if you are financially and emotionally unprepared. It can greatly strain your relationship because one or both of you may start pointing fingers as to who is mainly responsible for the failure of preventing the pregnancy in the first place.

Expecting a child also means providing a healthy environment, which is far from the small place you are currently renting. Aside from the fact you are still hunting for a job or just landed a job at a small firm, you may have to find a larger, more expensive home.

To sum it all up, you are just not ready to become a parent yet, so your various emotions can be overwhelming and stressful.

9. You Think Sex Will Hurt The Baby.

Many couples avoid or fear having sex during pregnancy because they fear it might cause a miscarriage or hurt the baby. If you have not been hitting the sack with your pregnant wife for these reasons, then you are missing out on the benefits pregnancy lovemaking has to offer and these include:

  • Improves Blood Circulation
  • Greater Orgasms and Satisfaction
  • Boosts Immunity
  • Strengthen Pelvic Floor Muscles
  • Improves Sleep
  • Prevents Sudden Rise of Blood Pressure or Pre-Eclampsia
  • Strengthens Your Bond

Is It Safe to Have Sex During Pregnancy?

As long as your partner’s pregnancy has no complications and everything is going normally, there is nothing to fear. Sex will not cause a miscarriage and it will not hurt your baby. A miscarriage can result from an underdeveloped fetus, and your baby is protected by the amniotic fluid. As long as your doctor does not recommend you avoid sex, there is no reason not to, unless you find her huge tummy is a turn off.

You may have to be creative. If your doctor tells you to avoid sex, there are a lot of ways to be sexually intimate other than to have intercourse.

10. You Find Your Pregnant Partner Unattractive.

Sexual stimulation arises from what you hear, smell, feel and see. No matter how much husbands love their wives, sometimes they just don’t find a swollen tummy with a baby sexually stimulating or attractive, at the least.

Women undergo through a lot of physical changes during pregnancy. Apart from the obvious bulge on their bellies, they may experience swelling of the feet and toes, darkening on some areas of the skin and tenderness of the breasts. All that could be a sight some men may find not sexually appetizing.

Just remember, your wife is ready to take on the challenge of undergoing through these physical changes, just to give life to your precious little one. The least you could do is to make her feel attractive.

What You Should Know About the Complex Process of Erection

erectionYou may see erection as the simple process of turning your penis into a solid rock, but inside your body, a series of complicated changes take place to make it happen.

The process of erection starts with sexual stimulation of the mind through what you hear, smell, feel and see or through direct stimulation of the penis. The brain sends messages to the nerve cells to release nitric oxide. This substance relaxes the muscles and arteries of the penis to allow blood flow. Once the penis is enlarged and becomes hard, connective tissues will prevent the blood from flowing out thereby sustaining an erection.

Erectile dysfunction can occur if there is an interference with the process of erection like stimulation, blood flow and trapping blood inside the penis.

What is Erectile Dysfunction and What are Its Causes?

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is your persistent inability to achieve or maintain a firm erection, which is necessary to have sex. It can be due to medical conditions, lifestyle factors or psychological issues that interfere with the process of erection.

Medical conditions that can cause erectile dysfunction include:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Stroke
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal Disorders
  • Thyroid Problems
  • Hypogonadism
  • Certain Medications

Lifestyle causes that contribute to ED include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive Intake of Alcohol
  • Relationship ProblemsSubstance Abuse

Psychological causes of ED are:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Relationship Problems

Erectile dysfunction due to psychological causes may be short-term, but it can still have a significant impact on your life, and your relationship.

When to See a Doctor When You Suspect You Have ED

Most men will have trouble getting an erection once in a while. If this is the case, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you find it difficult to get an erection and stay erect long enough to complete the act 25 percent of the time, do not hesitate to see your doctor.

Often, ED happens due to fatigue, lack of sleep and stress – all of which can easily be treated. A lot of men are embarrassed to seek help, especially if it puts their manly reputation on the line, but delaying professional help will only worsen your manly problem.

How New Dads Deal With or Prevent Situational ED

Being a new dad is a huge responsibility that can bring many changes into your life. The more you know about what to expect and how to deal with the changes, the less stressed you will be when the day your little bundle of joy finally comes into the world.

Parenthood is a partnership between you and your partner. It is only right to talk openly about the issues or worries you are having. Do not think that doing this will only add to her burden because it saves you both from conflicts and ill-feelings in the future.

Balancing work, marriage, and fatherhood will be difficult. No one said it would be a piece of cake. With proper time management and prioritizing, you will find time to sleep as you juggle the three.

Talking to people that can relate to your situation will greatly help. Where do you find these people? Join a boot camp or group counseling for new dads. It will help get you a clearer perspective and will make you realize that you are not alone.

talk to your partnerMost importantly, talk to your partner if you are experiencing ED. Leaving her clueless about your non-existent sex life will make her feel unattractive and insecure. It can also lead to doubts that you are having an affair. Your partner can help you overcome your anxieties by reassuring you she is more than willing to guide you through your journey of parenthood.

There is nothing more exciting for a couple than the news of a new addition to the family. But with great joy come with fears, worries and stress that can cause erectile dysfunction, especially to new dads. As time goes on and your baby settles down, things will become easier and your life will be less stressful, too. Give yourself time to adjust and keep the lines of communication open, and soon you’ll be a super dad.

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